Clint Bowyer and Greg Biffle race into the 2015 Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway by winning segments in the Sprint Showdown.
Clint Bowyer was visiting "The Morning Drive" on SiriusXM when he was asked about Kyle Busch's medical waiver from the Daytona accident, which left him with a broken right leg and left foot. Listen to what he had to say.
Get caught up before Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 (6 p.m. ET, FOX) MORE: NASCAR.com's picks for Charlotte " See all 43 cars for Charlotte What: 56th Annual Coca-Cola 600 Where: Charlotte Motor Speedway , Concord, N.C. When: Sunday, May 23, 2015 TV/Radio: FOX, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR) Distance: 400 laps (600 miles) Green Flag: 6:18.30 p.m. ET Pit Road Speed: 45 mph Caution Car Speed: 55 mph On The Front Row " Complete lineup for Sunday's race 1. Matt Kenseth , Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 Toyota (194.252 mph) 2. Joey Logano , Team Penske No. 22 Ford (192.836 mph) Failed to Qualify Jeb Burton , BK Racing No. 26 Toyota; Mike Bliss , Go FAS Racing No. 32 Ford; Travis Kvapil , Hillman SmithMotorsports No. 39 Chevrolet; Jeff Green , TMG No. 30 Chevrolet; Brendan Gaughan , Premium Motorsports No. 62 Chevrolet Fastest In Practice First Practice: Carl Edwards , Joe Gibbs Racing No. 19 Toyota (192.273 mph) " Full practice results Second Practice: Kurt Busch , Stewart-Haas Racing No. 41 Chevrolet (192.644 mph) " Full practice results Third Practice: Kurt Busch , Stewart-Haas Racing No. 41 Chevrolet (188.653 mph) " Full practice results Four Score? Matt Kenseth will start from the pole for the 15th time in his career when the Coca-Cola 600 gets under way. On three occasions, the Joe Gibbs Racing driver has managed to also win the race – at Bristol in 2005 and '15 as well as Kansas in '13. "Back when I started, we worked hard on qualifying but we worked way harder on the race (setup) because even if we started 20th, we knew if we had a really good car we could drive up to the front and after a couple of pit stops we'd be in the top few," Kenseth said. "That's not necessarily the case today. You can start in the middle and you can be stuck in the middle all day sometimes. It's hard to make up ground." SHOP: Kenseth gear No. 450 for Biffle, McMurray Roush Fenway Racing 's Greg Biffle and Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates driver Jamie McMurray will be making their 450th career starts in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series in the Coca-Cola 600 . Biffle's first start came April 28, 2002 at Auto Club Speedway . He finished 13th. McMurray's first start came later that same year, on October 6 at Talladega Superspeedway . Driving in a relief role for the injured Sterling Marlin, McMurray finished 26th. Front Row Joe(y) Team Penske driver Joey Logano qualified second for the Coca-Cola 600 , his seventh front-row start in 12 races this year. Since the 2014 season and the move to group qualifying, Logano has earned 15 top-two starts. SHOP: Logano gear Shorten the 600? "If they take that away or shorten it, it doesn't have the same challenge because that extra 100 miles is really hard. It puts extra wear and tear on your parts, your pieces, and your driver. It makes you change your strategy. And … it's something unique to our sport. … I like the challenge of that extra 100 miles once a year. I wouldn't want to do it twice a year." – former championship winning crew chief Ray Evernham Third Cup Start for Elliott Defending XFINITY Series champion Chase Elliott will be making his third Sprint Cup Series start this weekend, qualifying the Hendrick Motorsports No. 25 Chevrolet 28th in the 43-car field. Elliott, the son of 1988 Sprint Cup champ and NASCAR Hall of Fame member Bill Elliott , finished 38th in his Sprint Cup debut earlier this year at Martinsville and 16th at Richmond. Driver Rating Best driver rating average at Charlotte based on past 20 races: Jimmie Johnson , Hendrick Motorsports No. 48 Chevrolet (111.6) Kyle Busch , Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota (106.7) Kasey Kahne , Hendrick Motorsports No. 5 Chevrolet (100.8) GALLERY: Check out the Memorial Day weekend patriotic paint schemes Chevy Stumble? For the first time this season, no Chevrolet drivers qualified in the top five. Points leader Kevin Harvick , in the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 Chevrolet, led the GM charge and will start eighth. Lap Leaders Jim Paschal holds the record for most laps led by the winner in the Coca-Cola 600 , leading 335 of 400 en route to his victory at Charlotte in 1967 (it was then called the World 600). Race winner Jimmie Johnson led 334 of 400 in '04. The driver leading the most laps in the 600 and NOT winning the race is Junior Johnson, who led 289 in the '63 event but finished second to Fred Lorenzen after suffering a flat tire with fewer than five laps remaining. Defending Coca-Cola 600 Champion Jimmie Johnson , Hendrick Motorsports No. 48 Chevrolet Former Charlotte Winners In Field Jimmie Johnson (7); Jeff Gordon (5); Kasey Kahne (4); Kevin Harvick (3); Matt Kenseth , Jamie McMurray (2); Casey Mears , Tony Stewart , Brad Keselowski , Clint Bowyer , Kurt Busch (1). FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Danica Patrick wins Sprint Fan Vote
Jamie McMurray blows a tire late in the running at Bristol, several drivers including Josh Wise and Clint Bowyer get caught in the aftermath.
Driver has plummeted in standings since runner-up 2012 finish Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live " Vote: Ultimate Daytona Moment From the time Clint Bowyer announced, "It's got a dingy!", we knew this wasn't going to be the garden variety fatherhood. So when Bowyer was asked recently whether fatherhood had knocked him out of his normal offseason routine, we should have expected a quintessentially Clint answer. "It's not been normal," Bowyer said with a laugh. "He (expletive) his pants the other night and it was the most not normal thing I've ever seen in my life. I was gagging. (Lorra's) laughing at me. I'm like, 'You got to get in here, it's horrible!' And he's just sitting there laughing." It was a light moment between Clint and his wife, Lorra, and their now 4-month-old son Cash. And it was just the type of funny story that team co-owner Michael Waltrip hopes we'll hear more of this season from the guy who is just as fast with a quip as he is driving a race car. That's because last season was rough for Bowyer , and some of the fun disappeared. His 19th-place finish in the final standings driving the No. 15 Toyota for MWR was his worst showing in nine full-time Cup seasons. It was a far cry from when he finished second to Brad Keselowski in 2012. "We knew we were in trouble," Bowyer said of last season. "I was just barely getting by to get into the Chase -- and was going to make it -- but a part failure at Atlanta threw us out. That's not any way or shape that we wanted to be in going into a Chase. I wanted to be able to contend for a championship, and I knew if we made it in, we wouldn't go very far." Failing to make the Chase was a wake-up call for a driver who had finished in the top 10 in the final standings on five different occasions. It also gave Bowyer the opportunity to be, as he said, put out of his misery so he could focus on getting ready for 2015. A big part of what has helped him focus on the 2015 season has been becoming a father. "(Fatherhood) slows you down, there's no question it slows you down," Bowyer said. "Your focus is all on simple things. Your life isn't as complex as it once was. You don't have time to pick your head up and take in all the rest of it. You stay focused on your family and your child and racing. It really does simplify your life quite a bit because you're not drawn to so many distractions." Perhaps that type of focus is what helped Kevin Harvick during his championship season. There was a memorable photo of Harvick sitting next to son Keelan on the track after winning at Homestead with their backs against the wall and each giving a thumbs-up sign. Going back to 2013, it was Matt Crafton who won the first of back-to-back NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championships in the year his first child was born. So maybe there is a slight correlation between becoming a parent and being able to perform better at a job, instead of the opposite, which is what some might expect. Count Waltrip as a firm believer in it. "It certainly did that for me when I had my daughter," Waltrip said about gaining a renewed sense of focus. "My opinion is you become more of a complete person so you're more comfortable with who you are. You see your kid and you see that race car, and you're like, 'I'm going to race the heck out of that car and then I'm going to come back and hang out with my little son.' " Like Waltrip said, MWR will need Bowyer to be focused for the 2015 season. Waltrip said there was still some ad inventory to be sold on Bowyer's car, and there's the usual pressure of needing to perform well in order to satisfy current or potential clients. Bowyer knows it's important to make last season seem like a blip on the radar instead of the norm. "It's crucial for me, for 5-hour Energy, for all our partners, for everyone involved at MWR, that this is a rebound year and we get back to our winning ways and where we once were," Bowyer said. "It is very, very crucial that that happens." With all that pressure, though, the hope is that little Cash will bring Clint back to center. So far, so good. "He seems more fun and I know that's crazy because he's always been that guy," Waltrip said of Bowyer . "But you can just see it in his eyes. He's a happy man. That's why I'm so thankful that his energy for the team and where we're at as an organization is where he is mentally. Because we need that fun Clint guy, and we got him, and I think his son is a big part of that." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Clint Bowyer shares his view on Jeff Gordon's final full-time season
Bowyer's finish at Dover is only his second top-five finish of 2014
Bowyer to medical personnel: 'Get the hell out of my way' RELATED: Follow your picks in the Perfect Chase Grid Challenge for chance at $100,000 prize KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- When Clint Bowyer 's phone rings these days, he's on alert. That's why it's now more frequently found with the volume up than on vibrate -- just in case there's a call coming in from what he calls "headquarters." Bowyer checked his phone Friday during his news conference at Kansas Speedway , dismissing the incoming call when it turned out not to be from his wife, Lorra, halfway across the country with the couple's 2-day-old son, Cash Aaron Bowyer . Friends and family had warned Bowyer that his life was about to undergo a dramatic change with the Wednesday birth of his first child -- and with more than just his phone settings -- but the 35-year-old driver wasn't so sure. "You're like, 'There's no way,' then all of the sudden that little gremlin comes out of there and you're like, 'Oh my God, this is real,' " Bowyer said before making reference to his frenetic bedside manner during the process. "I was probably not the norm as far as a spectator in an event like that. In the room there I was high-fiving people and I was kind of pushing the doctor out of the way at one point because I was trying to get a better view of him coming into the world. Of course, the nurses are trying to hold me back and they're like, 'You can't get that close.' I'm like, 'Get the hell out of my way, here he comes.' It was a lot of fun. We were all laughing." With one life-altering experience under his belt this week, Bowyer sets his course toward a what could be a career-defining victory at his home track in Sunday's Hollywood Casino 400 (2 p.m. ET, ESPN). A Bowyer win would almost certainly align the planets toward turning the center of the sports universe to Kansas City, where the fountains are flowing bright blue in honor of their Royals' return to the baseball playoffs and where Chiefs fans continue to bask in the home team's Monday Night Football thrashing of the New England Patriots. Bowyer had turned the TV off Tuesday night before the Royals' victory advanced them to the American League Divisional Series against the Angels. Then came the mid-morning commotion of the impending childbirth. "I'm like, 'Honey, you ain't going to believe this, but the Royals won,' " recalled Bowyer , demonstrating an uncanny sense of domestic timing. "Now we're arguing about the Royals winning and they're carting her out the door and I'm like, this is crazy." The choice of Baby Bowyer's name offers a nod to American music legends Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley, whose middle name was Aaron. Though Bowyer wouldn't confirm whether any musical influence was involved in the decision, he did say that some alternates didn't make the final cut. "Well, she wouldn't go for Cle-Bo -- Cletus Bocephus," Bowyer said. "That's the one that me and my friends came up with one night at the campfire, and she was definitely down on that. So we went with Cash." While his life at home has changed forever, so have his old stomping grounds. Bowyer -- who claims Emporia, Kansas, some 100 miles from Kansas Speedway , as his hometown -- was still three years away from competing in NASCAR's national series when the 1.5-mile track began hosting the Sprint Cup tour in 2001. Since those beginnings, the area around the speedway has built up into a thriving community. "This place was the bad part of town," Bowyer said. "To see what has become of this area and to watch the first race here, I remember being down in the infield on top of a motor home, I don't remember who it was, but I was down watching the very first race here. Watched the shopping center being built, watching the baseball diamonds and now the soccer fields, the casino -- all of this area has really become one of the best places to be in Kansas City and it all hubs around this race track. That's the impact this speedway did for this community." MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL CHASE COVERAGE • Chase hub page • Chase Grid games • #MyChaseNation
Both drivers miss out on making the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup RELATED: Play Perfect Chase Grid Challenge for chance at $100,000 prize RICHMOND, Va. -- Their chances at racing their way into NASCAR's 10-event playoff were slim, but both Clint Bowyer and Kyle Larson had a chance, and any chance is better than no chance at all. Bowyer nearly pulled it off, but neither race winner Brad Keselowski nor Greg Biffle , who finished 19th, gave the Michael Waltrip Racing driver much to work with. "That's all I had; that's all we had as a race team," Bowyer said of his third-place finish. "We put it all out there and still we were just third-best. We've got some work to do, but a lot of racing left." A win would have earned either driver, Bowyer or Larson, a ticket into the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, which begins next weekend at Chicagoland Speedway . The more difficult process involved finishing the appropriate number of positions ahead of Ryan Newman and/or Biffle. Newman was steady if unspectacular, rolling his way to a rock-solid ninth-place finish. Biffle seemed more likely to fold, going two laps down at one point in Saturday night's Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway . But in the end, he managed to do what he needed to do to make the Chase, eventually ending the night with a seven-point margin on Bowyer , and the final of the 16 berths to be awarded. "If you make the Chase you want to compete for a championship," Bowyer said. "Truth be told, we're not there right now. A lot of work to do. We've got to continue to build on momentum like we had here tonight. "You know, it's definitely frustrating not making that Chase, but like I said, when you do make the Chase, you want it to be for a championship, not just ride around in it. We still haven't won a race … everybody on this 15 team deserves a win by the end of the year, and I'll see to it they get it." Bowyer had been a Chase participant on five previous occasions, including the two previous seasons. After qualifying sixth for the final regular-season NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, Bowyer had moved to fourth when NASCAR brought out the caution just past the 50-lap mark. Quick work by his No. 15 Toyota team put him second in the running order for the restart, but the outside line failed to advance, and Bowyer soon found himself running fourth and having to fight for lost positions. Throughout the race, he remained in the top five. But Keselowski's dominance and Biffle's unwillingness to go quietly into the night left Bowyer Chase-less. "Tip my hat to my guys, I'm really proud of them," co-owner Michael Waltrip said afterward. "They were really close to winning that race." But Keselowski, he said, "was just amazing" while runner-up Jeff Gordon "was just a little bit better" than Bowyer . No Chase, perhaps, but 10 races remain just the same. "I think that's their attitude, too," Waltrip said of the No. 15 team. "They don't quit, they don't give up. We know that this chapter is closed for us but we can come back and win races; we need to be on TV for … all our sponsors. "Clint's got a great attitude, he's energetic and fun to be around; I think maybe he can let loose now and maybe go win some races and we can finish the season strong." While Bowyer ran in the top five the majority of the night, Larson, the Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender, spent most of his evening inside the top 10, eventually finishing 11th. The Chip Ganassi Racing driver finished 16 points behind Biffle. "I'm still proud of my team," Larson said as he leaned back against his No. 42 Chevrolet. "We've been working hard and we're getting closer." Larson said he knew his odds weren't good, but "it was more that I was just hoping for the 16 (of Biffle) to have some trouble; he had about the night I figured he would, which was a smart night, to stay up there and make his way into the Chase. "Clint was doing a very good job too, all race long. I thought he might have a shot to win. I guess he fell just a little short." MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: NASCAR Chase Grid games WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL CHASE COVERAGE • Chase hub page • Chase Grid games • #MyChaseNation